Best Vacuums For Allergies (Dust, Pet, Asthma)

best vacuums for allergies

​Nobody likes having allergies. For those with severe sensitivities to allergens in the air, having good indoor air quality can mean the difference between being comfortable and being miserable. 

In addition to an efficient AC unit with a good filter, keeping your home vacuumed is one of the best things you can do to help improve your indoor air quality and lessen the symptoms of allergies. 

There's a difference between what is just a good vacuum and what’s a good vacuum for those with allergies. Vacuums made to take care of allergens often operate at a higher efficiency than that of a typical vacuum. They also typically contain a specialized kind of filter and particle containment feature to keep these irritating particles from escaping back into the air. Despite certain vacuums making similar claims in efficacy, not all allergy vacuums are created equally.

Since starting Modern Living 101, we've had the chance to test a ton of vacuum cleaners products, and not all of them are created equally! In this post, we're breaking down some of the best vacuums for allergies and what you should look for when buying one.

According to our tests, the best vacuum for allergies is the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal. Its HEPA vacuum filtration system makes quick work of the allergens that irritate your sinuses. 

Keep reading to see the other options we considered a good choice for keeping allergies at bay.

Pros:

  • Reaches tough spots with handheld mode
  • Powerful suction
  • Entirely cordless design allows more freedom of motion
  • Easily charges with included wall docking

Cons:

  • Must be charged to use, and runs for about 60 minutes before needing a recharge

More About The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal

The Dyson cyclone V10 Animal is an easy-to-use, super efficient stick vacuum that provides some of the strongest suction on the market. This vacuum is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the asthma and allergy foundation of America because it removes up to 99.9% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns. 

Removing the smallest particles is what tends to be the most difficult, and what also tends to make the most difference for allergy-prone individuals. For this reason, we chose the Dyson Cyclone V10 as our top choice for vacuums for allergies. 

While the vacuum cleaner is the best vacuum for allergies, its also great for other uses as well! It's a cordless stick vacuum with POWER. It can handle bare floors and carpeted floors, and cleans better than most uprights. 

The only real downsides to this style of vacuum is the need to recharge it, and the relatively small dustbin. However, this dust bin is really easy to empty compared to upright vacuums, another great plus for people with allergies.

 If you want to read more about this vacuum, you can learn more in our in-depth review of the Dyson V10.

>> Related Content: Best Vacuum For Small Apartments

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum


Pros:

  • Eco-friendly washable filter
  • High-powered suction that gets more debris on the first pass
  • Extra large dust cup means less time spent emptying
  • Includes TurboBrush tool 

Cons:

  • You have to empty the dustbin manually, which could agitate your allergies

More About The Bissell 9595A Cleanview

The Bissell 959A Cleanview is an affordable, lightweight, and highly efficient vacuum for those with allergies. Its the perfect mix of power and affordability. 

If you're willing to empty the dustbin, this vacuum is hands down the best choice. 

This vacuum cleaner is great for carpets as well as bare floors, and uses multi-cyclonic technology to remove even set-in debris like dirt, dust, or dander. Its a popular choice first because its affordable, but second because it has multi-level filtration, and a washable in-tank foam filter. All of this helps to trap airborne particles and allergens. 

The only downside of this vacuum, and many other vacuums are the same way, is that you have to empty the dustbin manually. Unless you're using a bagged vacuumed, you can expect to have to empty the dust canister. While most people agree that using a great vacuum can help with allergies, many people also tend to have issues when cleaning out the dust bin. 

If you're okay with having to empty a dustbin rather than buy replacement bags for a bagged-style vacuum cleaner, then this vacuum is a solid choice at a great price.

>> Related Content: Best Handheld Steam Cleaners

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum



Pros:

  • Great for all surfaces—no brushroll movement on hard floors
  • Super power suction
  • Includes HEPA vacuum filter and allergen seal to keep particles contained

Cons:

  • Small debris canister

More About The Shark Navigator Upright

This Shark vacuum is a great addition for anyone with allergies, featuring specialized filters and seals.

The Shark Navigator Lift Upright vacuum isn't new. It's been around a while, but that's because its an excellent vacuum! Again, like the Bissell Vacuum, this vacuum will require you to empty a dustbin, but that's fairly common. 

The thing that makes this vacuum great for allergies is that it has a sealed air system, paired with a HEPA vacuum filter helps it trap 99.9% of allergens inside the vacuum. This means once dust and allergens are removed, they don't get shot back out of the exhaust like some other cheaper vacuums might struggle with. 

This vacuum is lightweight and maneuverable. It can easily get into tight spaces due to its lift-away canister design. The suction is also excellent, but just be warned that the smaller than average dust bin will have to be emptied more frequently than with other vacuums.

>> Related Content: Womow W9 Review

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum


Pros:

  • Eliminates cleaning work for you
  • Connects with smart technology
  • Turbo mode for allergen-heavy areas
  • Can clean for up to 120 minutes

Cons:

  • Will have to be charged to continue using after 120 minutes
  • Turbo mode reduces battery efficiency

More About The Neato Botvac D7 Connected

The Neato Botvac D7 Connected was built for those people who like a clean home and all the modern perks that come with smart appliances.

This Neato Botvac can be entirely programmed to learn and appropriately clean your home, without you ever having to get up and vacuum yourself. You can program cleaning routes and restrict off-limits areas from the app, as well as view the vacuum's previous cleaning pattern.

It has a turbo cleaning mode too, so when you know there are places which more dust and dander get trapped, you can make the vacuum prioritize those areas and clean with more efficiency.

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum


Pros:

  • Adjustable height and swivel design make it easy to use
  • Superior filtration and particle containment features, ideal for allergies
  • Includes 4 power settings so that you can choose the amount of suction you need

Cons:

  • At about 22 lbs, this heavy-duty vacuum may be difficult to move up and down for some

More About The Miele Dynamic U1 Maverick

This vacuum is a blessing to people with allergies. It features super strong suction and specially designed particle filtration and containment.

The Miele Dynamic U1 Maverick is another improvement on allergy-specific vacuums thanks to its superior AirClean sealed system and robust suction ability. This vacuum was actually designed to work with some of the hardest-to-clean carpets out there: heavy pile, well worn, and hard, wearing carpets.

Even better, you won’t have to strain your back to use it on long cleaning sessions; you can actually adjust the height to fit you better which, added with its swivel design and light weight, makes it an ideal vacuum for allergy sufferers that hate the physical work of cleaning.

For added efficiency, it can even be set to automatically change surface height modes so you spend less time stopping and more time cleaning.

If you're interested in a canister vacuums, the miele complete line of vacuums are well rated for overall performance, and for people with allergies. The miele complete vacuums are generally smaller. However, the miele complete line of vacuums still work great for pet hair, dander and allergies.

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

BLACK + DECKER Anti- Allergen Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum

Kenmore Elite Beltless Bagged Vacuum


How to Choose a Vacuum for Allergies

Looking for a vacuum for allergies can leave you even dizzier than your allergic symptoms. Choosing a vacuum shouldn't be a struggle. There's a ton of options, but the ones that are good tend to stand out. When you're searching for a vacuum cleaner for allergies, theres a few things you should pay extra attention to.

Filtration System

The filtration system takes care of filtering and containing particles. That means it is in large part responsible for the particles that the vacuum can pick up, and what does (and more importantly doesn’t) escape back into your home. Allergy vacuums typically have multi-level filtration systems specifically designed to pick up even the smallest of particles.

Vacuums can come with a variety of filtration systems, but you really need to look for one that is designed specifically for allergy relief. The golden standard for allergy filters is a HEPA filter. HEPA vacuum filters, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters, pick up very tiny particles and are known to be efficient; for a filter to qualify as a HEPA vacuum filter it must pick up 99.9% of these particles and efficiently contain them.

While HEPA vacuum filters are not necessarily a must, most allergy experts will highly recommend these for effective allergen removal. If you choose to go with an allergy vacuum that doesn't feature a HEPA vacuum filter, make sure you read up on the effectiveness of the filter. It's a good idea to try to get a filter that is rated at least as effective as a HEPA vacuum filter, so you're looking for about 99% particle removal.

Disposable or Reusable Filter?

They can be disposable or reusable, so make sure to check and see which of these the models you’re looking at are. Disposable filters are easily dumped into the waste bin and then replaced by a new filter. Yes, this does come with some extra cost as you’ll be purchasing replacement filters, but some people prefer them.

The main reasons people prefer these are that they don’t have to deal with the allergens stuck in the filter when cleaning it, and the filters always work at the same efficiency when changed.

Reusable filters are rapidly becoming a popular trend in vacuums too, however. Many people like that they’re an eco-friendlier option, and there’s no need to continuously purchase replacement filters.

That being said, these filters may begin to wear down and should be replaced after a fair amount of use. This is to maintain your vacuum’s efficiency.

Suction power

Suction power is what makes a good vacuum good. For those will allergies, having good suction translates to the vacuum being able to get deep down in your carpet to remove dust and debris. Without good suction, a good filter is pointless. 

With cyclone-style vacuums, the tendency to lose suction is much lower than a traditional suction style. 

When you're shopping for a vacuum cleaners that's good for allergies, pay special attention to any mention of suction power. Just because a vacuum says its good for allergies doesn't mean it really is. 

Upright or Canister?

The upright vacuum is the traditional vacuum design, with a brushroll on the bottom and standing handle where the dust cup or cylinder is attached to. Canister vacuums typically have wheels attached to the bottom for easy movement.

The main body contains the motor, filter, and dust cup all in one low-sitting component. Then there is a hose attached to the body of the vacuum, typically containing extra extensions or tools.

So which one is right for you? Upright vacuums are generally better suited to homes with a lot of carpet and soft surfaces. The spinning brushroll on the bottom works to gather and remove particles and debris in a carpet. These vacuums often contain higher suction power and may be more familiar for many people to use and maintain.

A caniser vacuum is best if you have a large home with a lot of hard surfaces like hardwood floors. Due to its overall design, a canister vacuum is easier to move around, has to be emptied less often, and has better overall suction power. However, even the best canister vacuum has its downsides. Not all of them have great filters, and although the handle may be easy to work with, the whole unit itself is hard to get up and down stairs, and across large areas. 

Allergy Certifications

A lot of products designed for allergy sufferers claim some kind of third-party certification, and vacuums are no different. It's natural to be skeptical; these certificates can sometimes come off a bit like a paid review.

However, these third parties still have to ensure the products they review meet certain qualifications from credible sources. Don't hinge your entire purchase on certification. Look into the standards the vacuum must meet; it could help you in the long run.

Maintenance

When you’ve invested in a new vacuum, it’s no good to let it fall into disrepair. So make sure you’re properly maintaining it. Here are the basics of vacuum maintenance:

Empty the dust cup

Empty the dust cup regularly, and aim to do it after every or every other time you clean. Doing this not only lets your vacuum work more efficiently but prevents an overflow that can damage the inner workings of your vacuum.

Change or wash the filter

Filters should be replaced or washed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, a good rule of thumb is to do so either when you notice it’s full, your vacuum isn’t picking up as much as it used to, or every couple of months depending on how often you use it and how much debris it gathers. 

Check the brushroll

When you have an upright vacuum, check the brushroll for tangles that can cause sudden stoppages. Preventing a stoppage before it happens is ideal, so check your brushroll often if you also have pets that shed.

Pet hair is one of the hardest debris types for a vacuum to consistently pick up. Also, pet hair tends to exacerbate the negative effects of allergies. If you're searching for a great vacuum to help relieve allergies, go for one thats rated for pets or pet hair.  

Conclusion

A vacuum designed for allergy sufferers can provide immense and unexpected relief. Rarely do we actually consider how much dust and debris get stuck in our floors. However, a vacuum for allergies can be a life-changing move for an allergy sufferer. If you've been looking for solutions to your allergy symptoms, it might be time to look for a new vacuum.